By Essence Dennis |Staff Writer|
Democrats are urging the public to reconsider and repeal certain aspects from Proposition 209, better known as the Civil Rights Proposition.
The proposition deals with applicants for schools, jobs, and so forth having to state their sex, gender, age, ethnicity, and other types of personal information that could inevitably deter you from a particular college or job.
Proposition 209 is set to, “prohibit against discrimination or preferential treatment by state and other public entities,” whether it be based on their race, sex, or ethnicity as stated by vote96.sos.ca.gov.
Since the proposition was passed in 1996, attendance has decreased.
“I was a qualified student and believe that if Proposition 209 wasn’t enacted I still would’ve gotten into CSUSB,” said student Art Ramirez Jr.
On Jan. 30, 2014, Democrats that work for the California Senate began to ask voters if they felt the need to repeal, “The state’s ban on race-and gender-based preference,” according to by Laurel Rosenhall on blogs.sacbee.com
The state’s ban has hindered many opportunities for African Americans and Latinos within that state to get into college and inevitably make something of themselves and achieve “economic mobility,” according to vote96.gov.
Proposition 209 is similar to affirmative action in the sense that they both are designed to help minorities become considered for job opportunities or college acceptance based on their particular background.
“Some people believe that we don’t need affirmative action anymore because there’s no discrimination, etc. People might think it’s racist, sexist or ageist, to consider a person’s sex, age, or race to accept them into a program, where we should only look at merit,” said Heather Hundley, media and culture communication studies professor.
Hundley states that the repeal is another factor that could help balance out diversity.
Student Kristi Felix asserts her thoughts on whether or not the public should repeal Prop 209.
“I think we still need it, without affirmative action or Proposition 209, some of us may not have even been looked at because of our sex or race, even if we qualified for what we were applying for,” said Felix. Tim Wise from timwise.org, an advocate on affirmative action, stresses how it was not put in place to make whites feel inferior to people of other races, but was put in place to give an “extra opportunity” to people of color.
“I think we need this proposition to stay intact, it seemed to have helped people with different backgrounds so far, there seems to be no reason why they would want to change it now,” said student Maria Ayala.
Some Democrats and Republicans want to repeal Proposition 209 so schools will change their systems to focus solely on grades and not the students’ backgrounds.
It will set “society back decades,” said Elsa Valdez, sociology professor. “We have this myth that we live in a merit based society and that’s not true, because the fact is that students get into universities for different reasons.”
The time to vote is still up in the air with the, “Bare minimum number of votes needed – 27- the upper house passed and sent to the Assembly Senate Constitutional Amendment 5 which would ask voters if they want to repeal Propositions 209,” according to Rosenhall on blogs.sacbee.com